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Guinea Braces for More Unrest as Opposition Challenges Election Results

Guinean opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, center, in white, walks with supporters at his headquarters in Conakry, Guinea, Oct. 19, 2020.

The West African nation of Guinea is bracing for more post-election unrest after the country's Election Commission Thursday declared preliminary results showing President Alpha Conde was reelected for a third term.

But even before the results were announced, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo alleged fraud and declared himself the winner, prompting street protests and clashes that left at least people 10 dead.

Opposition activists such as Mamadou Billo Bah say they will keep protesting Conde’s taking a controversial third term in office.

Billo Bah said the protesters are mentally ready because they understand they are facing a dictator. Therefore, he said, they are prepared to be arrested, to experience violence, to be killed. He added that if people are ready to face all of this, they are not scared about it. And, he added, the protesters' lives are not more valuable than the lives of those who have already died.

Conde’s supporters say the third term was legally allowed by a March constitutional referendum.

The day after the vote, clashes broke out between security forces and Diallo’s Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea.

Amnesty International researcher Mohamed Barry says dozens of protesters have been killed and wounded this year in election-related violence, but no security forces have been held responsible.

Barry said Guinea’s government has allowed the security forces to enjoy impunity. He said even though everyone – human rights activists and political figures -- have denounced it, there have been no investigations.

With neither side in Guinea’s political standoff appearing to back down, the country is now bracing for more post-election unrest.